Earthquake disaster have recorded a high number of deaths based on the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) Report. Malaysia is not exempted from the risk of earthquake disasters, even though it is geographically located in the vicinity of the pacific ring of fire. The geological disaster of the earthquake in Sabah on 5 June 2015 with a 6.0 Mw resulted in series of geological disaster of landslides (including rockfalls on the Mount Kinabalu and debris flow in the vicinity area) and high number of human- and economic losses. Science and Technology for Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience (STDR3) week are hosted by Disaster Preparedness and Prevention Center (DPPC), Malaysia-Japan International Institute of Technology (MJIIT), Universiti Teknologi Malaysia with the support of National Disaster Management Agency (NADMA), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Malaysia, MERCY Malaysia, South East Disaster Prevention Research Initiative (SEADPRI) Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Asian Disaster Reduction Center (ADRC) Japan and Sabah State Disaster Management Committee. It comprises of several primary agenda such as;
- Women And Children Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience (WCDR3)
- Empowerment Of Disaster Knowledge and Awareness Workshop
- Information And Communication Technology – Community-Based Disaster Risk Management (ICT-CBDRM)
and relevant activities in a tectonically active region in Malaysia. This is the second time that DPPC and strategic partners had held this STDR3 week. The first event was held back in 2020.
WCDR3: Women and children are the most vulnerable to disaster prone area and to build their resilience is to develop disaster education and preparedness strategies. This program aims to empower vulnerable children in disaster risk reduction for societal resilience by equipping them with knowledge and a chance to voice out their concerns as well as ideas for a more equitable decision-making process as part of a building disaster resilience community. This effort also accelerates the achievements of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 and the Agenda for Sustainable Development 2030, as well as national and state development policies for preventing new, emerging hazard, systemic risk, and compound disaster.
Schools are seen as an effective place for children to learn new skills and encourage behavioural change. The implementation of the disaster risk reduction module in schools is an initiative for students to gain exposure and initial knowledge about what is happening in Malaysia and abroad. Over the past year, the agenda of empowering the capacity of children in schools through their participation in various disaster-related activities can prepare this group to be more prepared in terms of knowledge and skills about disaster risk reduction and resilience (DR3) by actively participating in all related activities.
Empowerment of Disaster Knowledge and Awareness Workshop in schools is a continuation of DRR capacity building activities through the experience of Phase 1 and 2 last year by SEADPRI – UKM. This phase focuses more on primary students. Targeted students by exploring their opportunities and capacities to change the stigma of society and stakeholders about children being only passive victims when disaster strikes. Through this workshop, we believe students can foster knowledge about the basics of DRR and how to handle emergency situation, in addition to be able to improve the system and delivery of information in national disaster management and increase their capacity. Children are positive catalyst towards a resilient community, especially when provided with the knowledge to explore future resilient community opportunities. Objectives of the workshop is to:
- Empower children capacity for knowledge about disasters and DRR strategies through experience-based learning.
- Build school student cohort as changing agent that have a specific capacity to reduce disaster risk at home, school and local community.
CBDRM is introduced as the best medium, platform and a unique mechanism at the local level in empowering vulnerable communities, strengthening disaster preparedness and local resilience towards developing a more resilient community to emerging hazard, systemic risk and compound disaster. The effort towards increasing public awareness holistically demands community preparation and preparedness on disaster risk reduction. The implementation of CBDRM program is to provide exposure and training to stakeholders and local communities in facing the risk of geological disasters such as earthquakes and landslides. This high-impact program empowers the role and responsibilities of local communities in understanding and reducing local risk, driven by targeted early action based on data, indigenous experience and risk reduction strategies.
Pilot Project on Utilization of State-of-Art Communication Technologies for CBDRM and Disaster Emergency Management with the collaboration of Asian Disaster Reduction Center (ADRC) will be held on the third day of this SRDR3 week. There is a need to further strengthen community DRM Capacity and reduce human losses through non-structural measures, such as emergency response and preparation for rapid recovery, which strongly connected with the enhanced public awareness, and strengthened community capacities. Hazard and risk maps with evacuation information are essential for people to take appropriate and prompt actions in a case of a disaster.
ICT tools and applications for CBDRM contribute to the improved community-based DRR (CBDRR) activities by providing safety information, early warning as well as enhancing DRM knowledge, and have contributed to the support of the community members in disasters. In Japan, various ICT tools and applications for community’s disaster management have been developed and introduced by local governments, media, and private companies. By using ICT tools such as mobile phone applications and GIS-based information management system, it becomes easier to collect, manage, update and share such information.